Nov 28, 2023·edited Nov 28, 2023

I see from the information pack for the first meeting on Thursday 30/11/23*, (see section 6, specifically the guidance from the Home Office on the appointment of an interim Chief Fire Officer, p59)

"...it is our view that appointment of an interim CFO must follow the same process as for permanent appointments."

In other words, they are saying that Ms Marzac's appointment process SHOULD have included a confirmation session with the Police Fire and Crime Panel, and that Mr Mold was wrong in seeking to prevent that from taking place.

In the meeting on 7/9/23, which I watched, the hapless Mold held on, rather more than the draft minutes suggest, to the (even then, quite unlikely, given the authoritative legal advice obtained for the panel) possibility that he had been correct all along, so can we anticipate a further act of contrition from him on Thursday? I rather doubt it.

More generally, my opinion of Mr Mold is that he is intellectualy lazy, a bit of a chancer, and ill-prepared by his previous, rather limited, professional experience for the responsibilities and complexities of the position that he now occupies. He is an "accident of democracy", in that the local electorate, in particular those most likely to vote in a low-ish turnout, tend to vote Conservative, and the local Conservatives, expecting to win most elections pretty comfortably, are not always particularly careful in choosing their candidates.

Mr Mold's main failure is with his "day job", as the Police Commissioner, in which he has slid from being a representative of the public to the police, into the easier and less challenging role of being a representative of the police to the public. Thus, choosing by default not to hold the police, and, in particular, the Chief Constable to account, we have ended up with the best part of a decade of the Northants Police failing to maintain basic national performance standards. As a result, the crime rate is higher than it should be, fear of crime is high, and there is a public lack of confidence in engaging with the police - this last problem being enhanced by the increasing frequency of news stories of local police, individually or collectively, behaving badly. It was within Mr Mold's duty to prevent this decline in performance from happening, and, the decline having happened nonetheless, it remained his duty to address it and to seek to reverse it. He has, of course, done none of this. Mr Mold does not have my confidence, and I believe that he should go. There is a certain irony that, at the moment, he is most under pressure in relation to the mess he has made of the lesser (but still important) Fire Commissioner role, and if that turns out to be what, ultimately, results in his defenestration then so be it. Northants will be in a better position with Mr Mold gone from public office, and I do not mind what (legal!) means produces that result.

[*From here


accessed from here

https://westnorthants.moderngov.co.uk/ieListMeetings.aspx?CId=151&Year=0 ]

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Nov 28, 2023·edited Nov 28, 2023

Stephen Mold appointed a woman called Nikki with no experience of the fire service to the post of chief fire officer. The firefighters objected and she had to resign. He has now solved the problem by... erm... well... appointing another woman called Nikki with no experience of the fire service to the post of chief fire officer! I predict that she'll be gone by Christmas to be replaced by a third woman called Nikki with no experience of the fire service.

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